The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

January 18, 2014

Regional, local writers pen books


— Writers in the region and locally have been working on novels, children’s books and nonfiction subjects.

In “A Measure of Blood,” the latest crime novel/police thriller by Johnstown native Kathleen George, Cmdr. Richard Christie and his squad return with a case involving a single mother who is brutally murdered, her 7-year-old son and the murderer, who insists he is the boy’s father.

It is available for $11.80 for paperback and $10 for Kindle on

With the 125th anniversary of the 1889 Johnstown Flood being observed in May, another novel by George,  “The Johnstown Girls,” will be released in April.

In this fictional tale, the last living survivor of the flood is interviewed at 103, still certain her twin sister, who went missing on that day, is alive.

It is available for preorder for $20 for paperback on

“Alicia’s Dream House” by Barbara Mattes of Upper Yoder Township is her first novel about a young girl with the dream of her family being together again in their dream house.

It is illustrated by Stephen Mrosko and is available for $4.99 for Kindle on

“Christmas at Glosser’s” by Robert Jeschonek of Johnstown is a novel set in Johns-town in 1975, centering on the Glosser Bros. department store.

It is available for $7 for paperback and $3 for Kindle on

“The First Noelle” by Blair Murphy of Windber is a Christmas story set in Johnstown and Windber, written in the tradition of “A Christmas Carol” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

It is available for $8 for paperback and 99 cents for Kindle on

“Maxwell, the Raindrop Who Wouldn’t Fall” by Joseph Moore of Johnstown is a picture book about a raindrop that wants to be a bird, a flower or a rainbow, but comes to understand it’s important to be yourself.

The book is illustrated by Jaclyn Donnelly and is available for $10 at Johnstown stores, including Chameleon Books and Blaine Boring, and on

“Penelope Skunk has Junk in her Trunk” by M.R. Hooley of Mahaffey is a hardcover children’s picture book in the rhyming tradition of Dr. Seuss.

It is available for $19.95 at and

Eva M. Sakmar-Sullivan, a former Johnstown resident who now lives in Hayes, Va., has written and illustrated two hard cover children’s picture books.

 In “Willie the Taxi Cat,” children will learn to count from 1 to 10 and identify sound-alike sounds through the names of the characters.

In “The Silly Looking Thing,” children will learn about tolerance and the importance of looking past differences when making friends through the eyes of a little frog.

The book also includes information about a frog’s life from tadpole to frog.

Both books are available for $16.99 at

“Willie the Taxi Cat” is available for $14.80 and “The Silly Looking Thing” for $11.68 on

“A More Excellent Way” by the Rev. Noah Martin of Johnstown is a marriage manual designed to strengthen good marriages and to give hope to troubled ones.

It is available directly from the author at 266-6489 and from New Day Inc. at  535-8202.

“The Four C’s of Successful Teaching: Consistency, Contingency, Compassion and Courage” by veteran educator B.C. Tozer of Berlin is a resource book for teachers.

He offers insight and options for interaction and application of his four C’s to school administration, students, parents and the teacher.

It is available for $18 for paperback and $10 for digital on

“Writing from Left to Right: My Journey from Liberal to Conservative” by Johnstown native Michael Novak is a memoir of how he changed his mind politically over the years after time spent in wartime Vietnam, the student riots of the 1960s, the Reagan revolution, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, Bill Clinton’s welfare reform and the struggles for human rights in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He also spent time with leaders such as Sargent Shriver, Bobby Kennedy, George McGovern, Jack Kemp, President Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Pope John Paul II, who helped shape and reshape his political views.

It is available for $24 for hardcover and $12 for ebook at and for $18 for hardcover and $10 for Kindle on

The children’s book “Mascot With the Ascot” by Cory Benjamin Geishauser of Altoona, who portrayed Steamer, the sports mascot for the Altoona Curve, is the story of Bryce, a mascot in search of the perfect costume.

It is available for $12 for hardcover on

“Dick & Jimmy’s Adventures at Glen Afton” by Fred Corbin of Hollidaysburg is a first novel set on the Juniata River during the Great Depression, using historical references to central Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Railroad.

This coming-of-age story about two friends is available for $9.79 for paperback and $4.99 for Kindle on

“Brave Girls of Riverside” by Patricia Noll of Monroeville, formerly of the Riverside section of Johnstown, is an adventure story taking place in Riverside around 1948, involving two sisters and their cousin.

The novel is available for $4.99 for Kindle on

“Love’s Ebb” by Heidi Bardelang of Altoona is a romance novel about a woman who starts secretly seeing her boss, who is married, then accepts a job in her hometown, where she begins a relationship with her best friend’s brother.

It is available for $14.99 for paperback or $10.99 for digital at  store or for $12.70 on

“Hope Rising” by Amy Spade of the State College area, originally from Portage, is a young adult coming-of-age novel about a young girl who has secrets to keep.

It is available for $1.99 for Kindle on

“The Novelty Essays” by Johnstown native Adam Matcho of Apollo is a collection of humorous essays written while he was working at a novelty store, going to college, newly married and a new father.

It is available for $13.46 for paperback and $5.99 for Kindle on

Ruth Rice covers Features for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow her on Twitter at